The Iowa Arboretum captivates nature lovers and aspiring botanists with 378 acres of idyllic landscape. A family membership to the arboretum includes free admission year-round to the arboretum’s agricultural wonders and reciprocal privileges at more than 250 other North American gardens and arboretums. In addition, members receive a free yearlong subscription to Iowa Gardening magazine, a 10% discount on many gift shop purchases, and reduced class and workshop fees. Bring your brood to the arboretum to acquaint yourselves with 19 different plant collections showcasing a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers. Amble along hiking trails through 330 acres of century-old oak trees or wander through the four-acre restored prairie.
Bowling balls tumble down Perfect Games’s 24 lanes, which are situated beneath a row of flat-screen TVs. In between frames, players lounge in comfy couches or make their way to the sports bar for a quick round of billiards. Black lights illuminate each lane's invisible-inked diary entries at Friday and Saturday cosmic-bowling sessions, and the laser arena’s two floors remain aglow at all times, as participants snake through labyrinthine corridors brightened with splashes of red, orange, and green paint.
Elsewhere, an arcade enthralls gamers with titles such as Time Crisis 3 and Guitar Hero, and a bounce house shelters leaping tykes aged 7 and younger. Kingpin Pizza reenergizes visitors with its extensive menu of paninis, pasta, salads, and made-from-scratch New York--style thin-crust pizzas cooked in a Roto-Flex oven whose rotating stone shelves can bake up to 100 pizzas every hour.